(a) Purpose. – Sections one-a, one-b, one-c, one-d, one-e, one-f, one-g, one-h and one-i of this article create an alternative means for a qualified person to earn a professional teaching certificate. These sections authorize a school or a school district to offer a rigorous alternative program for teacher certification in partnership with an accredited higher education institution, an entity affiliated with an accredited higher education institution, the West Virginia Department of Education or a regional education service agency, all under the supervision of the State Board.
(b) Definitions. -- For the purposes of this section and sections one-b, one-c, one-d, one-e, one-f, one-g, one-h and one-i of this article, the following terms have the meanings ascribed to them, unless the context in which a term is used clearly requires a different meaning:
(1) "Alternative program" means a program for teacher education that is offered as an alternative to the standard college or university programs for the education of teachers;
(2) "Alternative program teacher" means a teacher who holds an alternative program teacher certificate and who participates in an alternative program;
(3) "Area of critical need and shortage" means an opening in an established, existing or newly-created position which has been posted at least two times in accordance with section seven-a, article four of this chapter and for which no fully-qualified applicant has been employed;
(4) "Alternative program teacher certificate" means a temporary teacher certificate that authorizes a person to teach while participating in an alternative program;
(5) "Approved alternative program" means an alternative program that is approved by the State Board in accordance with section one-e of this article;
(6) "Approved education provider" means a partnership that the State Board has approved to provide an alternative program;
(7) "Partnership" means a partnership formed pursuant to section one-b of this article to provide an alternative program;
(8) "Partnership agreement" means an agreement adopted by a partnership pursuant to section one-b of this article; and
(9) "Professional support team" means the group of persons that an approved education provider has selected to train and supervise alternative program teachers.